West Midlands Police are appealing for information after a severely disabled man’s adapted wheelchair accessible vehicle was stolen from outside their family home in Tennal Road, Harborne, in the early hours of 16th March.
The Citroen Dispatch van is described as “her son’s lifeline to the outside world” by 37-year-old Anthony Sloyan’s Mother, Loretta.
West Midlands Police have launched an investigation, conducted local enquiries and are assessing CCTV in the area in a bid to identify the offenders.
Anthony’s Mother, Loretta Sloyan, explained the importance of the vehicle to her son and the family, she said: “The vehicle is really precious to us… Anthony calls it his ‘magic red bus’ and he’s devastated we can’t take him out and about as normal.
“He has severe autism and loves his routines, like popping to Merry Hill, having a drink in our favourite café and going to the garden centre. When that routine is disrupted, which has happened since the theft, he gets very distressed and upset.
“It’s hard to imagine what kind of person would steal a disability vehicle… they must be heartless and have no conscience whatsoever.
“Somebody must know where our van is. I would ask them to do the right thing and contact the police so we can get it back and our son can start enjoying life again.”
In attempts to trace the whereabouts of the vehicle, details of the van have been added to national police systems and roads policing units are on the lookout.
Sergeant Dave Cotter said: “This is a truly heartless theft of a vehicle the family rely on heavily – I would urge people to help us trace it and get in touch if they believe they’ve seen it or suspect who may be responsible.
“It’s possible the thieves may not have realised it was a specially adapted vehicle so I’d also ask them to look into their hearts and leave the van somewhere we can find it.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact West Midlands Police in confidence on the 101 number quoting Crime Reference 20BW/59545U/18. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org